Cosmetic Companies Will Follow European  
Anti-toxics Standards
UPdate spring 2005

Two major cosmetics companies have agreed to eliminate chemicals suspected of causing cancer, birth defects and infertility from their products, including a common plasticizer in nail polish.

Under pressure from San Francisco's Breast Cancer Fund and other groups, Revlon Inc. and L'Oreal USA promised to abide by a new European Union anti- toxics rule when the companies formulate their products for sale in the United States.

Jeanne Rizzo, executive director of the Breast Cancer Fund, called it a victory for women's health and consumers.  

The European Parliament and the European Council jointly passed the rule in September, banning hundreds of known or probable carcinogens, mutagens or reproductive toxicants from perfume, makeup, hair dye and other cosmetics. Scientists are assessing additional chemicals for possible inclusion on the list, such as formaldehyde and aromatic amines from coal tar, which are used in some brown and black hair dyes. 

The Breast Cancer Fund, part of a broader coalition called Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, is also talking to major multinational companies, including Procter & Gamble, Schering Plough, Aveda, Avon and Este Lauder about complying with the EU standards in the United States. The group has already won agreement from 50 natural-products companies, including Avalon Organics and Aubrey.

see also Shareholders Want Avon to Walk the Walk